Justin: Thanks for stopping by, Joe. It’s an honor to have you with us. Let’s get started… We’re interested in your “getting published” story. Will you tell us about your experiences in getting The Blade Itself published?
Joe: Once I’d finished a draft of The Blade Itself that I was happy with I set about trying to get it published in the usual fashion – sending a letter and 50 sample pages to agents specializing in sf&f. Spent about a year collecting photocopied rejections. Then a friend of mine who knew I was doing it and worked for an educational publisher found himself on a desk editing course with Gillian Redfearn, who had just then started as an editor at Gollancz. He persuaded her to have a look at it, she liked it, asked to see the rest, and I got an offer a week later. I was pretty thrilled, as you can imagine, but things move slowly in publishing (after the initial interest), and the first book didn’t actually come out until over a year later, by which point I think I was already starting on the third book.
Justin: So the “read my friend’s manuscript actually worked?… nice! What’s the biggest adjustment you’ve had to make since becoming a full-time writer, besides the additional garage for your new Ferrari collection, and the boarding house for your mistresses?
Joe: The toilet seat carved from a single enormous diamond is cold when you first sit down on it. But it soon warms up. In all honesty it’s been a slow and steady shift from a not very serious hobby, to a serious hobby, to getting a contract and obviously taking it more seriously, to it being a part-time job, to it being a full-time job, over the course of about six or seven years. So in a sense I’ve been adjusting steadily the whole time, and I still am.
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